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Adams (Sylvanus) Letters 1832
 
LOWELL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ALFRED GILMAN COLLECTION

WRITTEN BY SYLVANUS ADAMS1
TO ALFRED GILMAN

                                        Chickcopee Factory, 1st.  Jan. 1832

My Dear Gilman:

           I wish you a happy New Year, outright, which by the
way is the only plausible excuse I can offer for delaying to
answer yours’ (Nov. 8th) which I assure you was very gratefully 
received and read with avidity.

           You accuse me of “flattery”.  Now, I disclaim any such thing;
for I only spoke the truth and the real sentiments of my heart.
I am sorry to be under the necessity of retorting upon you for fall-
ing into the same strain of sycopancy of which you accuse me.

           My “originality”- fie upon you, why it’s the most
injudiciousy bestowed panegyrick that ever mortal man
received.  But, seriously.  If you have found anything 
meritorious in my letters your are certainly deserving of a gr-
eat deal of praise for your sagacity in discovering it.  My
[letters] have contained nothing but villinous vitoperations
[against] the place and the people thereof; but rest assured
that this letter shall be as free as this sheet of paper before I
began my scribblings;- for I am determined that not a-
nother epethet shall find its way to the point of my 
pen about this curs’d - but hold - I can’t go on I
must change the subject.

           I am in raptures for we have got up a Reading Room 
in here, which is to be opened to-night for the first time; and
I too am one of the managers, or rather one of the committee of
selection and management.  Hem - so you see I am in office
Now, this is downright egotism - I am just such fool to tell of
every thing that transpires concerning myself, so you must exc-
use and forget and forgive, and all this.  I been reading Moo-

  1Sylvanus Adams b: 10 Jul 1810, Medway, MA d: 16 Nov 1869, MA; parents: 
    Hezekiah and Julia Adams; employed: Lowell and Chicopee, Agent – Dwight 
    Company – cotton mill; married: Caroline Wasson b: MA.
 
 

re’s Life of Lord Byron, and for all the world Weld is his
(Byron) very prototype all except his disposition.  I have wad-
ed through the first volume and have got the second which 

looks ponderous and pregnant with something, withal.  It
is quite to volumionous, but I hope to live through it for it is
very interesting.  I have his works entire at my refulsal and
hope soon to get time to read them.

           You say you think of leaving Lowell for the New York 
the metropolis of this republick; - and wish me to act as 
umpire.  It is a delicate place, but I’ll accept it and judge
as “righteously” as my moral character will permit. 
The scheme you propose, I think to be a good one, but
whether he (Billings) will accept it or not, there is the
stick.  I was placed in similar circumstances when
I left Lowell and I will tell you how I acted.  I made
known my intentions of leaving or wishing to leave
but was amediately rebutted with the answer that “you
have agreed to stay year which is not out until April”.
Well, what do you ask for my time?  I wish to pay you 
a stipulated sum, which, after some bantering was
decided upon; but I thought rather hard to pay it as
I had then just attained my majority.  But after
all my advice will be but paltry and as “dust in 
the ballance”, so you must act according to your own
views of right and wrong, - believing you will act scru-
pleously:  It seems to me that - I should go, but I am
faulty with the rest of the world, so don’t take me
for a criterion.

           You say that I am your only correspondant (by-
the-by your not very highly favored) but I have many which
will account in a digree, for neglecting you.  I am in arrears
to several valuable correspondants - Mr. Dole for one
to whom I wish you to give my unfeigned regards.
He is a valuable friend and good companion, as you,
myself, and many other living witnesses can testify.
He is a schollar and poet too, but, the purity
of his character out-shines them all.  I never saw
a person with whom I have become acquainted
whose character wears so well as his.  He is a paragon.

           Now for the closing scene with my new pen, which you
will readily discover I have sharpened.  How does that liter-
ary forum the “Franklin Lyceum”?  Who among you is the
most eloquent, the most reasonable, unreasonable, learned
and so forth?  Do tell.  I wish I were with you so that I mi-
ght go to that - “forum for fun and veridy, the debating society.”
 
 

           I wish you would order my Mercury to be soped when
the six-months expires, which I believe is the first of Mar-
ch.  I does not arrive here regularly.  Sometimes it gets
here Monday, sometimes Tuesday and sometimes not
at all.  I do not like the management of it so well as
I should wish - there is too much about “E.C. Purdy”, 
“Councillor John” etc.  Billings had better get it ster-
otyed, it will save expense and in that way  he may
dispense with your services.

           Do you know Abner W. Buttrick?  He is or was
Clerk for France Hobbs or the ajacent store, I believe.  I
wrote to him some 4 months ago, but have not as yet
received an answer.  He was my friend, but if he
has abandoned me so be it.  Do ask him if he has
received my epistle for I feel anxious to know.

           Pray remit me an answer to this blotted paper
for it gives me a deal of pleasure to read your letters.
                                 Yours ever.

       A. Gilman           Adams

P.S. This is rather a sorry New Years token, but it’s my best

 

 
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